Azari & III Azari & III

Azari & IIIAzari & III
Anyone who's been following Toronto, ON's dance music revival these past few years no doubt knows that 2011 has been a banner year for debut albums from many of the scene's brightest names. Azari & III were among the first to find success on the international circuit back in 2009, and the classic house quartet are now the latest to make their mark on wider audiences, with their self-titled debut album. And that "mark on wider audiences "is really the point, because those familiar with the group will notice that at least five of the album's 11 tracks have been previously released as singles. Those singles ― "Into the Night," "Reckless (With Your Love)," "Indigo," "Hungry for the Power" and "Manic" ― also reflect the album's range though, veering from borderline cheesy acid-house pop throwbacks (some elements here would not have been out of place on a Chris Sheppard mix 15 years ago) to more modern updates on the Chicago house underground. Nevertheless, despite feeling more like the end of one chapter than the beginning of something new, Azari & III is a solid listen for a popular Canadian group that have, thus far, been very fortunate in straddling the cutting edge of 21st century house music and the old camembert in the back of dance music's fridge of forgotten embarrassments. (Turbo)